Honolulu Man and Woman Indicted on Federal Sex Trafficking Charges
|U.S. Department of Justice June 18, 2009|
WASHINGTON—The Justice Department today announced that a federal grand jury in the District of Hawaii has indicted Rodney D. King, 43, and Sharon-Mae Nishimura, 30, both of Honolulu, on multiple counts of federal sex trafficking of adult women and minor female victims.
The charges include allegations of sex trafficking of three adult victims. Specifically, the indictment alleges that from periods within April 2006 through June 2007, King used force, fraud, and coercion to engage two adult women in commercial sex and that he did so for his own financial benefit. The indictment also alleges that King attempted to engage a third adult woman in commercial sex in October 2007 by using force, fraud and coercion; and that Nishimura aided and abetted him in that attempt. If convicted of any of these counts, King and Nishimura would each face a sentence of imprisonment for a period of 15 years to life.
Two minor girls were also victimized. The indictment alleges that King engaged one of the minor girls in commercial sex acts from September 2007 through December 2007. It also charges both King and Nishimura with the December 2007 sex trafficking of a second minor victim, alleging that they knew both that the victim was a minor; and that force, fraud and coercion would be used to engage the victim in commercial sex acts. The indictment further charges King and Nishimura with conspiring to engage this 16-year old victim in commercial sex acts. The indictment states that, as a means of inducing her compliance, King provided this teenager with access to crystal methamphetamines.
For conviction of either of the counts of sex trafficking of minors, King and Nishimura would each face a sentence of imprisonment for a period of 10 years to life. For conviction of the crime of conspiracy, each would face a sentence of up to five years in prison. King and Nishimura each also face fines of up to $250,000 per count of conviction. An indictment is merely an accusation and the defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty.
The case is being prosecuted by Civil Rights Division trial attorney Kayla Bakshi with the Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit and Assistant U.S. Attorney Darren Ching for the District of Hawaii. The continuing investigation of this case is being conducted by the FBI with the assistance of the Honolulu Police Department and the Hawaii Department of Public Safety Sheriff Division.
Human trafficking prosecutions are a top priority of the Justice Department. In fiscal year 2008, the Civil Rights Division and U.S. Attorney’s Offices filed a record number of criminal civil rights cases, including record numbers of both sex trafficking and labor trafficking cases.